A package of urgent measures to reduce the level of nitrogen emissions and ground contamination was approved during a Tuesday night vote by senators in the Eerste Kamer, the upper house of Dutch parliament. The bill allows for tighter nitrogen regulations on construction projects, the reduction of nitrogen emissions from livestock, and the accelerated improvement and restoration of Natura 2000 nature sites.
Protesting farmers will not block supermarkets' distribution centers on Wednesday, the lawyer representing action group Farmers Defense Force (FDF) promised in court on Monday in summary proceedings filed by supermarket chains' organization CBL. According to the lawyer, the FDF never planned to block distribution centers and cause supermarkets to have empty shelves the week before Christmas, NOS reports.
Modern cattle stables emit more nitrogen than was assumed in calculation models, Statistics Netherlands found in a study that analyzed manure samples to compare the nitrogen content with the values in an international calculation model. The researchers found a lower than expected amount of nitrogen in the manure, which could mean that the nitrogen was released into the air, Trouw reports.
The government wants to quickly reduce the maximum speed limits on Dutch roads in order to get housing construction up and running again. Lowering the speed limit will reduce the nitrogen emissions caused by road traffic, creating room for nitrogen emissions caused by construction projects, is the idea, AD reports based on sources in The Hague.
The government wants to soon implement a quicker permit process for small- and medium sized construction projects, in which no more than 200 homes are built. This measure is part of a structural plan to get housing construction going again after the nitrogen crisis and a new PFAS limit brought hundreds of projects to a standstill. Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture hopes to get the green light from the Council of State within a few weeks, she said to NOS.
Dutch people are throwing away less food. This year 34.3 kilograms of food per person ended up in the bin, 7 kilograms less than in 2016, according to a study by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. The amount of liquid food stuffs thrown away decreased by 11 liters to over 45 liters.
Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture aims to reduce food waste by half in 2030 when compared to 2015. Not just household waste, but in the entire food chain.
Hundreds of farmers from across the Netherlands are on their way to The Hague on their tractors, where they will demonstrate on Tuesday. The police are escorting multiple processions of tractors, to keep traffic problems as limited as possible. But despite this, traffic chaos is building up on multiple highways.
By 7:30 a.m. there were over 650 kilometers of traffic jams caused by the farmers, in combination with the rainy weather and a few accidents, according to travelers organization ANWB. Usually there are around 250 kilometers of jams by this time on a Tuesday.
So far this year 176 thousand chicken, pigs and cattle were killed in 13 barn fires, according to figures from animal rights group Wakker Dier. That is already far more than the 122 thousand animals that died in 31 fires last year, according to figures from the fire brigade and insurers. Animal rights organizations and coalition party D66 are demanding measures from Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture, AD reports.
Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality wants supermarkets to stock more locally sourced products. She believes that a short food chain will strengthen the connection between farmers, conservationists and consumers, and thereby increase consumers' appreciation for food and where it comes from.
The Minister is therefore organizing, in collaboration with the provinces, a special trade mission to make local products more widely known and to stimulate short chains of delivery, Schouten wrote in a letter to parliament.
Dutch companies involved in the cultivation of flowers in developing countries agree that there are many abuses in this industry. The working conditions are poor and the excessive use of pesticides and water puts food productions in those countries at risk. Some 600 Dutch companies - from growers to supermarkets - therefore signed a covenant promising improvement, NOS reports.
This weekend will be another hot and sunny one in the Netherlands, with temperatures up to 33 degrees expected on Saturday and up to 32 degrees on Sunday. But a plague of poisonous caterpillars throughout the country is putting somewhat of a damper on the outdoor fun.
Around a hundred activists occupied a pig farm in Boxtel on Monday in a protest meant to draw attention to animal suffering in the Netherlands. A few dozen farmers also gathered for a counter protest. The police eventually put an end to the action. Dozens of protesters were arrested, NU.nl reports.
The number of cats and dogs used for medical experiments increased by 49 percent in 2017. In that year 909 dogs and 200 cats were used as lab animals, compared to 656 dogs and 89 cats in 2016, AD reports based on figures from the Dutch food and consumer product safety authority NVWA.
Half of the laboratory dogs and a third of the cats did not survive the experiments in 2017, according to the newspaper.
The Netherlands will ban the use of shock collars on dogs from July next year, Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality announced. She is also tackling abuses in the breeding of so-called "designer cats", RTL Nieuws and the Telegraaf report.
The shock collar ban applies to individual dog owners as well as qualified dog trainers. Those who still use shock collars after 1 July 2020, will risk a fine of up to 20 thousand euros, or a maximum prison sentence of three years, according to RTL.
Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality is introducing new animal welfare criteria for dog breeding, primarily focused on external characteristics such as the shape of the skull, nose and eyes. In this way she wants to make dog breeding healthier for the animals involved, ANP reports.
Thursday was a milestone for PVV leader Geert Wilders. He filed his 25th motion of no-confidence. The 'lucky' recipient of this motion was Minister Carola Scouten of Agriculture during a parliamentary debate on pulse fishing. The motion failed, RTL Nieuws reports.
"What did I do?" Wilders responded when RTL alerted him to this milestone. "Ah, a wonderful moment. There may be many more to follow."
The Netherlands will implement a total ban on the trade in ivory in March next year. "If you want elephants and rhinos not to be exterminated, you will also have to do something about the market", Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality said, RTL Nieuws reports.
Highly pregnant cows are slaughtered in the Netherlands several times a week, despite a ban on doing so. This involves cows pregnant with full-grown and viable calves in the 8th or 9th month of their pregnancy, RTL Nieuws reports based on figures received from Dutch food and consumer product safety authority NVWA.
Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture wants to use a "light form" of genetic modification as part of her efforts to make agriculture in the Netherlands more sustainable. She is currently working with companies, farmers and Wageningen University to investigate the possibilities for experimenting with the so-called CRISPR-Cas method. She will send parliament a letter about their progress in the coming weeks, she said to the Volkskrant.
From 2020 all new dogs in the Netherlands must get a passport, Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality announced on Thursday. The government hopes that this will help in the fight against illegal animal trade. Animal welfare and taking good care of animals is "everyone's moral duty", the Minister wrote in a letter to parliament, NU.nl reports.
A legislative proposal to ban perpetrators of animal cruelty from owning pets for up to 10 years was submitted by Ministers Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security and Carola Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. They hope that this bill will prevent animal cruelty and repetition in perpetrators, ANP reports.
The Dutch government wants to register the race, ethnicity, political views, and religion or philosophical conviction of anyone who applies for or renews a firearm license. These new requirements for firearm licenses are written in a legislative proposal that will be submitted to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, next month, the Volkskrant reports.
The Dutch union for arable farmers NAV asked Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture to let potato farmers irrigate their crops with surface water, also in areas where a ban is currently in place. The NAV warns that many farmers are in danger due to the persistent drought, ANP reports.
The Dutch government no longer wants to take in sick or injured seals, unless they were injured by human action, Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality wrote to parliament. She is thereby adopting the advice of a committee that researched seal shelter in the Netherlands. The committee concluded that a 'hands off' approach should apply to sick or stranded seals, and that their care must be more professional, ANP reprots.